Good morning and welcome to On Politics, a daily political analysis of the 2020 elections based on reports from New York Times journalists.
Sign up here to have On Politics in your inbox every weekday.
Russian interference (in Afghanistan) and a racist retweet. It is Monday and this is your tip sheet.
Where things are
President Trump jumped the shark: this is how top democrats framed things condemned the President on Sunday for failing to respond to Russian interference in Afghanistan.
A Times investigation released on Friday found that Trump had been informed on a intelligence report three months ago that shows that Russia has offered monetary awards to militant Islamists who launch attacks on American forces in Afghanistan. But the White House still hasn’t taken steps to take revenge or stop the Russians.
“This is as bad as it gets,” said Nancy Pelosi in ABC’s “This Week”, pointing out that Trump denied having been informed about the intelligence agency. “His government knows whether he is or not, and our allies – some of our allies working with us in Afghanistan – have been informed and accept this report.”
Joe Biden weighed during a virtual town hall event held by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, an electoral organization. “His entire presidency was a gift to Putin, but it’s more than pale,” said Biden. “It is a betrayal of the most sacred duty that we as a nation have to protect and equip our troops when we put them in danger.”
Intelligence officers and special commandos had reported since at least January that they suspected the Russians could offer payments to Taliban fighters. This would significantly escalate Russia’s known involvement in conflicts between the US armed forces and Afghan rebel fighters. Back in March, government officials discussed registering a diplomatic complaint with Moscow or introducing new sanctions, but ultimately decided not to do anything.
Trump is disturbed by the fact that a solid part of his followers consistently represent racist beliefs? He seemed to be fairly happy with it on Sunday morning when he retweeted a video with a man in a golf cart wearing a “Trump 2020” sign and “White Power!” in response to a counter-protester who asked him, “Where’s your white hood?”
The two-minute video showed clips from a golf cart parade in support of Trump in The Villages, an age community in Florida. Counter-protesters mock and mock the Trump supporters and wave signs that call the president bigot and racist, and take a bilious answer.
The president retweeted the video shortly after 7:30 a.m. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said shortly after 9:00 a.m. on CNN’s State of the Union that he thought Trump should remove it. “We can use it to make politics,” he said. “I’m not going. I think that’s not justifiable. We should dismantle it.” Trump later deleted the tweet.
The president’s decision to distribute the video was not only remarkable for the unvarnished white supremacist language first 10 seconds), but also because it is so clearly a torn nation that is full of anger and resentment on both sides of the political spectrum.
The counter-protesters shown in the video were also reflected Trump’s trouble with older white voters, a typical Republican constituency that has long been uncomfortable with its political style and could be the key to a Biden victory in November.
As of July 1st, students who say they have been cheated from nonprofit colleges and universities still have to pay back the loans they took out for school. This is due to a policy by Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary.
Congress passed a non-partisan law that rejected the rule, but Trump vetoed the legislation last month. On Friday, House Democrats tried to override Trump’s veto. The number of votes was between 238 and 173 – far behind the required two-thirds majority.
“It was important to try,” said Nevada Democrat Susie Lee. “You have 350,000 students in this country waiting for relief.”
Maybe with Michael Flynn on the edge free to go, a team of Times reporters unearthed a private correspondence between William P. Barr, the Attorney General, and Sidney Powell, Flynn’s Attorneywho also frequently commented on Fox News and is very popular with Trump. In the letter, Powell called for “extreme confidentiality” and suggested that Barr initiate an investigation into the “political” nature of the lawsuit against Flynn.
Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, had already pleaded guilty to the F.B.I. lied, but Barr picked up Powell anyway. He eventually ordered the Justice Department lawyers to drop the charges.
But the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, did not immediately accept Barr’s request and said he was not convinced that there was no case against Flynn. Barr’s lawyers appealed the decision to an appeals committee that asked Sullivan to end the trial. Sullivan has not yet implemented this and the Court of Appeals could still choose to overturn the panel’s decision.
Protesters held signs indicating an upcoming scrapbook of Mary Trump, the president’s niece, as his convoy entered the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
A protest in Michigan against the dismissal of a lesbian employee by the church, days after the Supreme Court ruling.
The story of Terry Gonda and her dismissal from her job as music director at St. John Fisher Chapel, a Catholic church in Auburn Hills, Michigan, did not end when the Archdiocese of Detroit released it last week.
Her resignation because she is married to a woman has attracted national and international attention. A few hundred people came to the fair on Saturday evening and demonstrated support for Gonda and her wife Kirsti Reeve, who had a symbolic wedding in 2003 and have been legally married since 2011.
The demonstrators carried signs saying “Love is Love”, “Restoring Church Dignity” and “Jesus had two fathers and he was well”. They listened to music and speeches and honked from the church parking lot.
Monsignor Michael LeFevre, the pastor of the church, who celebrated his last mass before being transferred to another congregation later this week, paid tribute to Gonda during his sermon.
“What we celebrate this weekend is a festival to make room for prophets in our lives. He has been a prophet for many of us for many years, ”he said, pointing to Gonda. “And you made room for Terry and she has been prophetically this presence for many, many years. We cannot take that away. Nobody can take that away. “
LeFevre received news from the archdiocese that Gonda’s employment would end just a few days before the Supreme Court ruling that employers could not fire workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. In his decision, however, judge Neil Gorsuch wrote that the judgment was a question “for future cases”, especially for religious institutions.
Brian Clark, a retired professor and member of the parish council, said the council was preparing an open letter to the archdiocese to express his dismay.
“What would Jesus do?” He asked the crowd gathered after the fair: “It is not complicated, we know what he would do. Someone would get a break.”
Gonda and Reeve said they wanted to remain members of the congregation and hoped that archdiocese leaders who refused to discuss the dismissal would change their minds. Gonda has played a leadership role in the community for the past 30 years.
“I had my moments when I shouted at God because it is heartbreaking. This is my family,” said Gonda. There’s something really, really important going on. And I feel love and hope and forgiveness and excitement because God’s will is moving here. “